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How Are We Protecting Water?

Sandfire Resources America Inc. takes protecting all water resources seriously. Therefore, careful management is critical to maintaining water quality and quantity as Montana law, through its Mine Operating Permit structure, requires neither water QUALITY nor QUANTITY can be degraded in development, operation, and closure and reclamation of a mine.

To protect the water for quality and quantity, the Black Butte Copper underground mine is designed with the following features:

  • In order to keep water from leaving the mine after closure and mixing with stream water, all planned openings or entry points to the mine (including air ventilation and escape routes) are located far above the water table and the tunnel entry location was specifically chosen because it is almost 200 feet above the water level.
  • All ground water from the mine and surface water from precipitation will be collected, monitored, tested, and treated before being placed back into the ground water system through an underground infiltration system buried 6-8 ft. below the surface. There is zero discharge to surface waters. Water temperature will also be monitored and maintained through this system.
  • A Reverse Osmosis (RO) water treatment plant will be constructed on-site for the duration of the mining operation and will remain there for as long as it is needed.